The woman who went viral for coughing on a cancer patient during the thick of the coronavirus pandemic has received thirty days in jail.
Debra Hunter was sentenced in Jacksonville, Florida, on Thursday. In addition to her jail stint, she must pay a $500 fine, undergo a mental health evaluation and anger management, and serve six months of probation. Hunter must also cover the costs of the victim’s COVID-19 test. The woman received credit for the one day that she served in jail.
Hunter was arrested last June after being recorded inside a Pier 1 store coughing on the victim, Heather Sprague, during a verbal altercation. The argument between the women began when Hunter was arguing with Pier 1 staff members. Sprague began recording the incident on her cell phone, which angered Hunter, who then threatened to cough on her before going through with it.
Sprague is currently battling a brain tumor, which puts her at higher risks for COVID-19 complications if she contracts the virus. The victim told the judge that she searched for days for a testing location. Thankfully, she tested negative for COVID-19.
Hunter’s husband tried justifying his wife’s actions by attributing her behavior that day to a house fire that had caused them to lose all of their belongings. He said that the pressure his wife was under was “like air being inflated into a balloon, and it finally got to the point where she couldn’t handle any more air.”
Unfortunately for Hunter, Duval County Court Judge James Ruth was not moved. Instead, the judge was taken aback by Hunter’s lack of accountability. Instead, the woman was more concerned with being unable to visit her country club. She did not express any “regret about the impact it had on the victim in this case.”